Manav Kataria's Blog

My first Tabla lesson – a lesson in philosophy

My first lesson started today. Abhisekh is leaving tomorrow for France and was kind enough to spare his precious time. He sure is a man of his word!

We started with basic tabla atonomy, basic strokes and their names – bol. He further introduced and demonstrated various taals and rhythms and expressions of tabla music.

The experience was entertaining and enlightening. Entertaining and awe inspiring as to what depths of expressions can a tabla convey – its like reciting a story or a poem Abhisekh says and he demosntrated it!

Enlightening as to what I like about it and am already conditioned to — understand the emotions and expressions of music.  And revealing as to what I need to concentrate on and work on – rhythm, timing and stroke conditioning, strength, power and technique.

I discovered that I am totally into Western-Classical Fusion. I mentioned it as I realized I love combining music in harmony with an external musical input. Abhisekh adds driving independently and being driven – having both skills is equally important.

But just like being a good listener is not enough to be a good communicator, I realised that I would have to learn to “speak” the language as well – that is play it as well.

Inspirational Videos (incomplete):

  • the speaking hand
  • Zakir Hussain 4.30 min teen taal on Doordarshan
  • samir prasad?
  • ahmed (?)


Homework — Practice (from Wikipedia-Teental) :

Teental has this characteristic pattern of bols (theka).

The Theka for Tintal
dha dhin dhin dha | dha dhin dhin dha |
x 2
na tin tin ta | tita dhin dhin dha |
o 3

Note the bols used for the first beat of each division: Dhaa, a bol involving both hands, is played at the beginning of the first, second and final divisions; for the khali section, Naa – a right hand bol – is used to indicate that the division is open. There are some pedagogical variations as to the actual syllables pronounced when reciting the bol, most of which occur in the final two vibhags.


6 responses

  1. So nice

    September 16, 2009 at 8:33 am

    • manavkataria

      Hi! Moh Sami,

      Thanks for commenting! Where are you from ?

      Did you start learning Tabla?

      Regards Manav Kataria

      September 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

  2. hi iam form Kabul Afghanistan iam started the lesson 2 years ago but i want to learn somethings from you too

    September 18, 2009 at 2:41 am

  3. Please Tel me some Kaida in Kerwa and geda Taal

    September 18, 2009 at 2:50 am

    • manavkataria


      Would you like to reply to Moh Sami from Kabul, Afghanistan who is enthusiastic to learn Tabla and point him to some good links on Kerwa and Geda Taal? You may reply on the post:

      thanks a lot, Manav

      September 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    • manavkataria

      You probably want to ask a more specific question about “Kerwa and geda Taal” to Abhisekh. He might be able to reply better then,

      October 1, 2009 at 6:37 am

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